Sustainable palm oil coup for Ginsters

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Palm oil Sustainable palm oil Pastry Supply and demand Sustainability

Sustainably Cornish. Ginsters has become the first manufacturer to secure 100% sustainable palm oil in savoury pastries
Sustainably Cornish. Ginsters has become the first manufacturer to secure 100% sustainable palm oil in savoury pastries
Ginsters has overcome supply issues to become the first manufacturer to secure 100% sustainable palm oil in the category of branded savoury pastries, in co-operation with fats and oils supplier AAK.

The move covers all branded pasties, slices, sausage rolls and pies, representing 100M products a year.

There was also considerable demand from the own-label market for such products and this would be the next step for the company, Ginsters purchasing director Laurence Oldman told “We are the first player to offer these products across the UK. At the moment it’s just on brand, but interest has been expressed by all the retailers and in due course retail customers will come on board.”

Guaranteed supply

Ginsters previously bought sustainable palm oil certificates from UK certificate trading body GreenPalm. However, thanks to AAK, it secured guaranteed supply of sustainably sourced-stearin, the solid palm oil fraction present in the margarine it uses to make pastry-based savouries.

“You need a certain level of hardness to be able to make puff pastry,”​ said Oldman. The achievement was the culmination of six months of discussions with AAK.

The firm’s UK location was also an important consideration, said Oldman. “It’s about security of supply. There’s no one better placed in Europe. It’s getting hold of the fractions in the west because of the quantities we require.

We use in excess of 4,500t a year and don’t have the manufacturing facility for that. The demand for sustainable stearin is quite high​.”

The sustainable supplies were being sent to Ginster’s savouries factory in Callington, Cornwall, for further processing.

Oldman said sourcing sustainable palm oil was not as straightforward as the popular press and many consumers believed, but it was easier than some people in the industry thought. Many manufacturers could be using sustainably sourced palm oil in their products without knowing it, as standard palm oil is sourced from sustainable and non-sustainable producers alike.

Oil certificates

The key was securing guaranteed segregated sustainable supplies, which only members of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil such as Ginsters can do.

By contrast, some processors choose to offset their use of standard palm oil by buying sustainable palm oil certificates, such as those offered by GreenPalm. The cash paid for these certificates is channelled into sustainable palm oil plantations.

5Mt of sustainable palm oil is currently available globally, according to Oldman. The UK is a relatively low user of palm oil, demanding just 350,000t annually.

Meanwhile, India uses 750,000t a month. China, India and Malaysia were some of the areas of highest consumption. And consumption is set to sky-rocket in the next few years as developing countries adopt more western diets, including more convenient snacks and food on the go products, said AAK.

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